Danny Brown ˇ
Over the course of his first four critically revered albums, (The Hybrid, XXX, Old, Atrocity Exhibition), Brown blended the musical omnivorousness of Tribe with the cut-up absurdist humor of De La Soul, the 4/4 club mashups of The Jungle Brothers and the sheer rawness of Chi Ali. As he accurately states it now, “I feel like I’m the newest member of Native Tongues.” It all led to uknowhatimsayin¿, which might be the purest distillation of what makes Danny Brown one of the most essential entertainers, storytellers and cultural voices of this generation. It is the uncompromised work of a virtuosic talent who understands how to use comedy as a vicious instrument. There is the lingering sense of paranoia, the requisite survivor’s guilt and anxiety, but also hysterical punchlines and anthems built to cause speakers to crumble into ashes. On the opening song, Brown offers a mantra of sorts, “I will never look back, I will never change up.” His genius is that it could mean anything, but you also know exactly what it means.